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The Pali is transliterated as Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l). Alternatives:
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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


Raadha Thera

PTS: DPPN ii, pp730

He was a brahmin of Raajagaha who, being neglected by his children in his old age, sought ordination. The monks refused his request on the ground of his age, so he sought the Buddha who, seeing his upanissaya, asked Saariputta to admit him.[1] Soon after he won arahantship. He stayed near the Buddha, and, by reason of his skill, the Buddha declared him foremost among those who could inspire "speech in others (? pa.tibhaa.nakeyyaana.m).[2] He thereby earned the name of Pa.tibhaa.niya Thera.[3] The Theragaathaa[4] contains two verses spoken by him in praise of concentration of the mind. The Raadha Sa'nyutta[5] contains a large number of suttas preached by the Buddha in answer to Raadha's questions on various topics. It is said that when the Buddha saw Raadha he felt the inclination to talk on matters dealing with subtle topics, illustrating them with various similes.[6]

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Raadha was a householder of Ha'nsavatii and held a great almsgiving in honour of the Buddha, wishing to gain pre-eminence in the power of inspiring others to speak. He gave ripe mangoes to Vipassii Buddha[7] and, as a result, was born in heaven.

Suraadha Thera (q.v.) was his younger brother. Raadha was, for some time, the Buddha's attendant.[8]




Raadha Sa'nyutta. - The twenty-third section of the Sa'nyutta Niikaaya. It contains various suttas preached by the Buddha in answer to Ridha's questions.[9]




Raadha Sutta. - Raadha asks the Buddha if ideas of "I" and "mine" are completely absent in him who knows and sees, regarding the body, consciousness and external objects. The Buddha answers in the affirmative.[10]




Raadha Sutta. - Raadha, before becoming an arahant, goes to the Buddha and asks for a teaching in brief. The Buddha tells him to abandon desire for what is impermanent - i.e., the eye, objects, eye-consciousness, etc.[11]




PTS: Psalms of the Early Buddhists, II. - Psalms of the Brethren, Mrs. Rhys Davids, trans., pp115


Reborn in the time of our Exalted One at Raajagaha, as a brahmin, he was in his old age unable to perform his various duties. Being passed over,[12] he went to the Master and revealed his needs. The Master, contemplating his graduation in essential conditions, ordered Saariputta to admit him. Soon after that he won arahantship. And thereafter, keeping near the Master, he became pre-eminent among those who, deriving from the Master's teaching,[13] could speak impromptu.

Now one day seeing how want of self-training occasioned governance by the passions, he exhorted thus:

E'en as into an ill-roofed house the rain
Doth pierce and penetrate continually,
So into mind by exercise untrained
Doth passion ever pierce and penetrate.
And as into a well-roofed house no rain
Doth pierce and penetrate continually,
So into mind by calm and insight trained
Doth passion never pierce and penetrate.[14]


[1]It is probably this incident which is referred to at ThagA. ii. 114[sub-1], where Saariputta is said to have ordained a poor brahmin named Raadha, but no mention is made of any order from the Buddha. If the reference is to this same thera, Raadha was, for some time, the attendant ( of Saariputta, and there is a verse in Thag.(993) spoken to him by Saariputta, who was pleased with Raadha's gentle manner. DhA. ii. 104ff. gives more details of the ordination of Raadha. There we are told that he went to the monastery where he performed various duties. But the monks would not admit him into the Order, and, owing to his disappointment, he grew thin. One day the Buddha, seeing him with his divine eye, went to him, and hearing of his wish to join the Order, summoned the monks and asked if any of them remembered any favour done by Raadha. Saariputta mentioned that he had once received a ladleful of Raadha's own food while begging in Raajagaha. The Buddha then suggested that Saariputta should listen to Raadha's request for ordination. After ordination, Raadha grew weary of the food of the refectory, but Saariputta constantly admonished him and found him most humble; later, he spoke highly of Raadha's obedience, and the Buddha praised him. It was on Raadha's account that the Aliinacitta Jaataka (q.v.) was preached. AA. i. 179 f. agrees, more or less, with the account given above; so does Ap. ii. 485 f.

[sub-1]ThagA. ii. 114 ... Again, the Thera [Saariputta] showing kindness to an unfortunate brahmin named Raadha, caused him to leave tho world and enter the Order.[sub-2] Afterwards, while on tour, he admonished Raadha, pleased with his gentle behaviour:

As one who shows where treasures hidden lie,
So is the man of wisdom who discerns
What to avoid, and utters sage rebuke:--
If such an able guide ye see and heed,
For you who follow, better 'tis, not worse.

[sub-2]This is more fully related in Dhammapada Commentary (Raadha-thera-vatthu'), ii. 104 ff., on verse 76. Raadha is probably the aged Thera of CXXVII., ordained by Saariputta.

[2]A. i. 25; ThagA. i. 253 f. pa.tibhaa.nakeyyaana.m Bhanaka would be a "reciter" of suttas, pati would indicate some sort of repartee - base meaning bounce or rebound - hear: rep-par-ti; plus the evidence in the suttas is not so much of his speaking, but of others being inspired to speak to him.

[3]SA. ii. 246.

[4]vss. 133-4 .

[5]S. iii. 188-201; see also Raadha Sutta.

[6]SA. ii. 246; this was because of Raadha's wealth of views (di.t.thisamudaacaara). and unwavering faith (okappaniya-saddhaa); AA. i. 179; also ThagA. i. 254.

[7]ThagA. i. 253; AA. i. 180; Ap. ii. 484.

[8]AA. i. 163.

[9]S. iii. 188-201.

[10]S. iii. 79.

[11]S. iv. 48f.


[13]The passage assigning him pre-eminence is then quoted from Ang., i. 25. Cf. with Vangiisa's similar but not identical pre-eminence, Pa. CCLXIV. This Thera is possibly identical with the 'venerable Raadha' addressed in many short discourses of the Sa'nyutta (iii. 79, 188ff.; iv. 48f.).

[14]"Exercise,''calm and insight' - in the text bhaavanaa - the collective name for the systematized effort in self-training of the disciple who seeks perfection (Bud. Psy., p. 261, n. 2). Specified as 'calm and insight' in the Commentary. Cf. Compendium. p. 202 ff.

[233] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Beggars who is skilled in eliciting sutta recitation (patibhaneyyakanam) is Radho.

[SN 3.23: Radha-Samyutta]
K.S. iii, 66,
Brethren, 115.
SN 4 35.76
SN 4 35.77
SN 4 35.78